Baby back ribs are one of those foods that everyone loves. Except, of course, those who do not eat pork, but I do not associate with those kinds of people. All kidding aside, a well cooked rib is a thing of beauty. They should be juicy and tender, yet chewy and meaty at the same time. And to achieve that in a rib, you have to be patient.
Ribs cannot be cooked quickly, or you will end up with a dry, tough, impossible to eat piece of meat. Something you won’t even want to give to your dog. But cook that same rib slowly, either in a low oven or on a grill over indirect heat, and you will have such a sweet and tender morsel it can make you cry. OK, maybe I’m the only one who cries over really good ribs…
I developed the rub specifically for pork, but I have used it on chicken, turkey, grilled vegetables and pork roasts. It is a good all purpose BBQ rub.
Sweet ‘n’ Sticky Baby Back Ribs
2 racks baby back ribs
Smoky BBQ rub (recipe below)
The day before you plan on grilling, sprinkle the ribs with a thick coating of the rub, making sure that all surfaces are covered. You want a nice coating of rub, as this will crisp up and form a flavorful crust.
Cover and refrigerate the ribs overnight so the spices can really penetrate and flavor the meat.
Prepare your grill for low, indirect heat. Place the ribs on the grill, cover and cook them until tender, about 2 hours. Check them occasionally to make sure there are no hot spots on your grill, and move them around if needed.
Heat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, to make cleanup easier. Slow roast the ribs for 2 hours, or until tender and the meat has pulled back from the bone.
Once the ribs have become tender it is time to put the sauce on. Some have a favorite bottled sauce they use, and some insist on making their own sauce. I do both, depending on how much time I have and/or how much energy I have. These ribs were sauced using a good bottled BBQ sauce, but I added 2 tablespoons of rib rub to 1 cup of bottled BBQ sauce.
Let the ribs cook for 20 – 30 minutes more, so the sauce can caramelize and thicken. This is where the sticky comes in.
Slice the ribs and serve them with your favorite BBQ side dishes. Do not be ashamed when you find yourself licking your fingers, and possibly the fingers of those you are dining with…
Smoky BBQ Rub
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 TB smoked paprika
2 TB chili powder
4 tsp granulated garlic
4 tsp granulated onion
4 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
In a small bowl mix all the spices together. This makes over a cup of rub, so you can use some now and save some for later. Store the rub in an airtight container, such as a jar or resealable bag.